Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Torch Has Passed

A very dear friend passed away yesterday.
He ate breakfast at our table two days before that. 
Here was a man who we've known for 20 years.  
He was active, happy, helpful, a lover of children.
Our children, who were very young 20 years ago, 
remember his words and his character.
He had been unwell, but no one knew how much.  
He went to the hospital and didn't come back alive.
He left his things scattered in his bedroom in our home,
 ready to be organized for his recovery.  
His shaving kit was in the bathroom, his clothes in the closet.  
All that's left is a little bit of stuff.
Those things that were in daily use and are no longer needed.
Now, all that's left is an empty room.
Life, even after 80 years, is a temporary thing.  
What we'll remember is not that stuff,
but who he was and what he really lived for. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicken Spring

Once upon a time a Papa had a birthday.  He has one every year, of course, and it seems like we all gather together and end up celebrating.  We are getting to the age that we don't need  to celebrate on our birthdays, or get lots of stuff.  However, little boys can't imagine a birthday going by without a celebration.  So, when we celebrated a Sunday by all eating dinner together, there were birthday greeting also going on. 

That Sunday was one of the few absolutely gorgeous days of April seeings as how the week before we had a blizzard, so we spent a lot of the afternoon outside.  

Jim decided this day to move the chickens from inside their little coop to outside.  He thought it would be fun for the boys to watch.  However, they wanted to help.  How often will they ever get to carry a chicken!

Besides chickens there is a dog.
Barry and Paislee especially love him. 

However, he is prone to run way.

Fun in the shop

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Snowy Eggs

Did you know that Nebraskan's are the nosiest people in this country?
Our newspaper said so.  
The gist of the article was that there is so little domestic terrorism in our state because we are snoops.  We pay attention to our neighbors.  
And out of state license plates.  
Whether my mom and I spent part of an afternoon watching and trying to figure out what was in the big box our neighbors got off the Fed Ex truck, has nothing to do with the matter. 

I have said before and I will say it again, and many, many times that Christian is a very creative youngster.  This again is his own unique take on a portrait of Gramma.
He also likes flat cheese. You know, as opposed to cheese sticks or rounds.  

Little Miss Paislee almost 20 months.

The best time to get cool Easter supplies is ...
after Easter, of course.
Lorene got this really cool egg decorator with a motor.
The egg spins and you do the coloring with paint pens.  
We boiled far too many to color, and I did a few raw ones.  
It was so much fun.

Winter isn't over yet.  
April 14th, we had a regular blizzard with around
 6" of very wet blowing snow. 
I love a good blizzard. I like to hole up in the house in front of the fire and knit.
It was the perfect weather for doughnuts, but I needed to get too many
other things done, so I made cinnamon rolls instead. 

I used up the rest of my potatoes just in time to plant more.
This is all that Jim left for me after he cut potato sets. 
He didn't want to use the big ones. 

I just love this little note Barry got from his teacher. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Another Year Older

Here it is the end of March already.  The countdown stands at 5 weeks left before graduation for both Lorene and Lynette.
The grand total of grocery money spent this month was $130.  I don't think I'll be able to cut so close every month.  I'm depleting my "on hand" supplies quickly. Except for meat.  

I hardly remember what I had for supper last night, let alone what I did the last half of the month.  The days seem to run together except for a few standouts highlighted in pictures.  
This is my birthday month, it is also the month for kindergarten round-up which isn't a big thing since most of next year's class is already in the pre-school.  I wondered if there were any extras that weren't in the pre-school and asked Christian to that effect that day when I picked him up from school.  He said, "no."  However, the next day he was telling about one new kid that joined them for that hour.  It is hard for me to communicate with the boys sometimes since I don't hear very well, but there is also the communication glitch between the understanding of a 
four year old vs. a 54 year old.  
The kindergartners, who went to the first grade room during the round up, made little goodie bags for Christian's class.  They each drew a picture and signed it.  I had and "awww" moment when the back of Christian's picture was signed by Barry.  It ending up in Christian's bag was the teacher's doing since Barry denied any knowledge of it.  

Christian is wearing his absolutely best favorite pajamas.  As soon as he gets home from school, he puts on his pajamas.  

Most years I go to my folk's to celebrate my birthday on a weekend near the actual date.  It has become a tradition to eat corned beef and cabbage and strawberry pie.  Mom and I always make two, but we didn't get the second one down since we ate our Sunday dinner at Pizza Ranch.  
We finished the first one off after supper and when I went to bed I was still hungry so after the house was dark I quietly went downstairs and snitched a piece of the second uncut pie.  I told no one but Jim and waited to see when mom would say when she found it.  She didn't see it until it was about time for us to leave.  She was surprised for sure; we had a good laugh over it and took a couple of pieces home.  

The boys were absolutely appalled at the thought of having no birthday party with me, so I planned to make small birthday cakes for them to frost, decorate and stuff with candles.  I was going to use the cute little 4" cake pan we got for the wedding and didn't use and bake them on my birthday.  
However, Lynette offered to watch the boys that day and I took her up on it, cake or no cake.  
We just frosted cakes the next day.  

I was impressed with Zane's handling of the frosting spatula (I can't believe I had to go look that up, the word just totally left me) and it was his idea to put the frosting in the bag to decorate.  The boys could choose their own color of frosting and the number of candles to put on the cake.  They asked for my age and when I said, "54," they were stunned at the thought of, "that many candles!!!!"
So, each put as many on as they desired.  Zane learned how to light candles with another candle, scratching matches on the box seems to be beyond him at the moment.  

Zane's Cake

Barry's Cake

Christan's Cake
He got a bit carried away with the candles and it looks like the whole thing is on fire.  

Zane was also zealous in cutting his cake so we could all have some.  However, there was too much cake for the four of us to eat in one setting, so some had to be saved for the next day. 

So, another month is gone and the new one started with a heavy 4 inch snow storm.  
Is spring around the corner, or not?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time Goes Faster Looking Backwards

Blogging has not been on my list of priorities this season of my life.  My priorities seem to be focusing on getting enough sleep and having clean clothes.  
I suppose eating is up there, too.  
Lorene's new schedule involves 2 or 3 days of my leaving the house at 5:30 am so she can leave hers at 6 am. It means less time at home, but I wasn't very productive before 5:30 anyway.  It would help if I would remember to take my breakfast and lunch along. 

I worked on my budget this weekend after spending way too much money, in my opinion, to get the car's heating system to blow out cold air on the passenger side instead of engine hot.  Now it blows out the proper temperature on both sides, but it is blowing air out of the top vents when it is supposed to be only the bottom ones.  Jim says it's stiff new parts.  I hope so.  I don't like cold air blowing on my ears when it's cold out.  Well, I don't really like any kind of air blowing on my ears.  And, yes, the dash vents are turned off, but there's leakage. 

Anyway, after the budget looking over, I decided to see how little I could spend on groceries this month and use up some things in my freezer and pantry cupboard.  Except for milk and fresh produce, I think we could survive about 6 months.  
Running total:$24 and I forgot to buy flour.  Thank goodness for brownie mixes.

February Leftovers

Lorene is into decorating in a big way these days.  I love this girl, I love this shirt, but I don't love how quickly she is growing up.

Christian has a unique way of looking at life.  I don't know that I've ever seen drawings of people quite like his.  This is his mom and I.  Usually, he draws my hair down to my feet.  This could be his opinion that I should wear more colorful clothes. 

Valentine's day has come and gone.

Every year about this time, school fundraisers rear their ugly head.  I have such a hard time paying double the cost of the magazine even though I know that half of the price goes to the school.  So, I just write a check to the school and forget the ordering.  Then I get to choose how much to spend. And, I don't have a magazine I don't want.  They never have anything I do.

ANYWAY, one person in the elementary school that turns in their completed forms wins a prize right then and there and Barry was the lucky winner!

Spring time made a brief appearance in February, so we took a trip to the park.  Zane and Barry rode their bikes while Christian and I followed along in the car.  I was in mother hen mode most of the way there.  Even their little hometown has a few cars on the main road.  

Several months ago, Mom suggested I submit a "cute kid" picture to this magazine.  The only one close to hand was Paislee.  And lo and behold, they published it.  I got a check for $25.

March News

Wresting season is still going on and this time Christian was well, not sick so he got to participate.  
The little ones just wrestle for experience and a medal.  Christian doesn't get the idea of what is going on.  When it's his turn, he just lays down and the other kid "wins".  

He was sure pleased with his medal!

Barry worked very hard, as you can see by his flushed cheeks, for his medal.  The wrestlers weren't sorted by weight so he was up against bigger kids.

I got a week off between Lorene's field work sessions, so Jim and I really took off.  We went to Wyoming to see my aunt and uncle and had a marvelous time. 
We've been meaning to go for years, but the last several years have been difficult ones due to finding any good help, thus making it nearly impossible to leave when construction is going strong.  We were glad we did.  Time is passing for them, as it is for everyone else, and medical issues cloud the future.

We went as far as Cheyenne on Sunday and spent the next morning at the Cheyenne Depot Museum.  We have been interested the the big steam locomotives, particularly the Big Boy series and the Challenger 3900 series.  The Big Boy is the largest of all steam engines, ever.  Cheyenne, in its time was a hub for railway traffic on the Union Pacific Railway.

Once we reached our destination, we had the fun of looking over their house which was new to us and visiting, visiting, visiting.  We looked at photos, and things with precious memories.  We went out to eat at some yummy pasta/pizza restaurant whose flat bread was so soaked in olive oil that it was easy to eat, and delicious besides.  

We left early Thursday and arrived home to our beds just a little after normal bedtime, (which for us is mighty early,) and spent Friday hiding out and not telling people we were home.  

On the way home, we saw antelope and Chimney Rock.

We had more phun than photos. 

This is how Jim takes his Sunday nap.